I was born in Spokane, WA and growing up my family moved all over the country and even to Myanmar for a few years. When I was 4 years old I started gymnastics and continued through middle school until I began competitive cheerleading during my high school years. I went to high school in Dublin, OH and graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minor concentrations in Exercise Science and Kinesiology. Throughout college I worked in physical and occupational therapy units including outpatient sports, inpatient, and acute rehabilitation at Bloomington Hospital.
After college I was introduced to the local fitness community at Pai Yoga and Fitness. Throughout the next 2.5 years I became certified in TRX Level 1 and Level 2 Sports Medicine training and grew within the business as the fitness manager and lead instructor. During that time, I worked at The Ohio State University (Wexner) Medical Center to gain patient care and customer service experiences in as many realms as possible. By immersing myself into these different facets of healthcare and fitness communities I found my true passion and motivation for aiding in injury and disease prevention on a wider scale, plus the power of a positive support system that is essential in making huge impacts on peoples’ lives!
In 2012 I started my journey as an athlete and coaching intern at Friendship CrossFit. By January 2013 I became a certified Level 1 CrossFit Trainer and part time employee at Friendship CrossFit, eventually climbing my way into being part of the full-time team! Friendship constantly supported and challenged me to be the best coach, friend, and athlete that I could be. Through CrossFit, I’ve found my life partner, a passion for competing and coaching Olympic Weightlifting, lifelong friendships, and a system of training that provides the opportunity for constant growth and improvement in all parts of life!
MINT Strength is our chance to grow the CrossFit community and I couldn’t be more excited!
KRISTEN’S WEIGHTLIFTING STORY (so far!)
I found my love for Olympic Weightlifting through CrossFit! Jay mentioned I should pursue competitive weightlifting. The summer after I started CrossFit I decided to dive into training with him. We trained together most days of the week and both competed in local competitions throughout the next year. When the Arnold Weightlifting meet came in March of 2015, with the help of my coaches Fred Lowe, Debbie Hudson, and Jay, I qualified for my first USAW Nationals! The training process was and is my happy place and at 2015 USAW Nationals I finished in the Top 10. The experience fueled my fire for bigger goals and tons of training! During 2016 Arnold Weightlifting Championship I had my best finish yet along with a few more PR’s. I qualified for 2016 Nationals there and continued my training with Coach Fred. The 2016 USAW Nationals came up quickly and it was a blast competing with many of the best lifters and crushing more goals I had made in the past year!
Outside of my own training, Jay and I started our first Barbell Club! Having the opportunity to create an awesome training environment for those with the same passion for lifting as us was amazing. We built a strong foundation of trust and friendship with our athletes. Helping them create, chase, and crush their goals inspired Jay and myself to be even better coaches and programmers. Our programming addresses places for opportunity with each athlete while allowing them to train and encourage each other every day.
THINGS I LIKE TO DO:
Well, my favorite thing to do in Arizona so far is climb Camelback Mountain with Jay. It’s a special place for us, even though we struggle to make it to the top sometimes! PHEW! I’m absolutely obsessed with our dog, Nala, and tell her how cute she is about a million times a day. I love finding local cafes, juice shops, farmers markets, and parks to go to with Jay and Nala. Coffee and red-velvet cupcakes are my favorite! Supporting local is a big deal to me and I look forward to finding ways to bring the Phoenix community together!